Brothels and Registers

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Rachele Bargoni stabbed her ex boyfriend because he accused her publicly of being a prostitute.
It may seem an extravagant news in a modern newspaper, instead it happened in the 19th century in Genoa.

The woman’s action could seem a little extreme to our modern eyes, but actually it wasn’t! Indeed, since 1860 in Italy,  according to a law enacted by Covour, prostitutes must be automatically registered in a specific record and forced to move into a brothel.

In this period all around Europe were introduced measures to control prostitution, even Napoleone adopted some restrictions that would become a real segregation of the phenomenon. But, for sure, the Italian law was quite severe. So, the fact that the Genoese woman was acquitted by the jury for her crime should not be a surprise!

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